Sheep grazing opportunities offered on Valley refuges


ALAMOSA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting sealed bids for two separate five-year sheep grazing permits to assist with habitat management on several units of the Alamosa, Monte Vista and Baca National Wildlife Refuges (refuges). 

Sheep grazing is used as a critical maintenance tool for select upland habitats as part of prescriptions designed to maintain habitat health which includes keeping these habitats free of invasive species.

Selected sheep operators will work under a Cooperative Agriculture Agreement (CCA) as a “cooperator” with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under this agreement, selected cooperators will fulfill prescriptions for specific intensities of sheep grazing on the refuges for a period of five years (2018 -2022). Annual prescriptions will vary based on specific habitat conditions.  All grazing will occur during spring, summer and fall months with start and end dates varying based on habitat and environmental conditions. Specific grazing periods may range from one month to five months and prescribed number of sheep may range between 500 and 4,000 animal units.

Cooperators will be selected through an open, transparent and competitive process where applicants will be scored and ranked based on a combination of; competitive bid, operational flexibilities, relevant experience and reference checks.

Bids will be accepted based on cattle equivalent of Animal Unit Month (AUM) of which, a Mature Sheep/Goat is 0.2 AUM and a Ewe-lamb/nanny-kid pair is 0.3 AUM.  The minimum bid accepted is $18.50/AUM.  This grazing fee is based on average grazing fee rates published by USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) for Colorado for 2018.  Grazing fees in years 2019-2022 will be adjusted accordingly based on NASS published average rates.

For Baca refuge sheep grazing opportunities, potential bidders must attend an onsite briefing and formal inspection tour with the refuge manager which will occur on May 8 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Baca Refuge Office located at 69812 Saguache County Rd. T (former Baca Ranch headquarters). No additional inspections will be accommodated. Bids will only be accepted from operators who attend the briefing/inspection.

For the Alamosa/Monte Vista refuge sheep grazing, potential bidders must attend an onsite briefing and formal inspection tour with the refuge manager which will occur on May 7 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Alamosa Refuge Visitor Center located at 9383 El Rancho Lane. No additional inspections will be accommodated. Bids will only be accepted from operators who attend the briefing/inspection.

Specific Bid Packages with detailed information can be obtained at refuge offices, electronically at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alamosa/ or https://www.fws.gov/refuge/monte_vista/ or https://www.fws.gov/refuge/baca/  or by emailing; [email protected] or [email protected]

Sealed bids must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 11 either by being mailed to:

SLVNWR Complex

Attn:  2018 Sheep Grazing

9383 El Rancho Lane

Alamosa, CO 81101

or sent electronically to [email protected]  with subject line “2018 Sheep Grazing”

Sealed bids will be opened on May 14, and successful operators will be notified by May 15.

For more information on Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge sheep grazing contact Helina Alvarez at (719) 589-4021 Ext. 1011.

For more information on Baca National Wildlife Refuge sheep grazing contact Ron Garcia at (719) 256-5527 Ext. 10.

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